Western propaganda and Libya revolution


Western propaganda and Libya revolution

Libyan fighters drive through a destroyed military base used by Muammar Gaddafi’s army and subsequently bombed by NATO, southeast of Tripoli, September 2, 2011.

Libyan fighters drive through a destroyed military base used by Muammar Gaddafi’s army and subsequently bombed by NATO, southeast of Tripoli, September 2, 2011.

In memory of Col. Muammar Qaddafi was that of a Libyan revolutionary and socialist politician who does not beat around the bush, telling it straight to your face and of course such attitude can be perceived by some as dictatorial.

If we look around Africa Continent, the closest to Col. Qaddafi is late Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana who identified that African Continent is partially free politically and most definitely not economically and that Africans need to “emancipate itself from mental slavery and that none but ourselves can free our mind” (Pan-African).

Some of my readers may wonder why the comparison of Gaddafi and Nkrumah? It was what they stood for and not who they are and by that I mean they stood for the unity of Africa as a continent through economic empowerment such as increased trades between countries in the continent as well as political and technological cooperation.

Qaddafi focused on key areas that can help prolong average life span of Libyans such as good road network; good healthcare facilities, better housing so that Libyans will not sleep rough, and he eliminated poverty focusing on those Libyans who are unable to work due to disability or ill health.

Qaddafi’s effort to stabilize Libya by bringing all different tribes together and also working with poverty-stricken West African nations did not gain popularity in the West (news blackout) because it was distorting their (West) plan for Africa and Middle East, hence incitement of tribal unrest and counter coup in Libya in the past.

They (West) use their propaganda machine (Western Media) to turn Gaddafi into Mr. Jekyll and Hyde (man with two faces) in the eyes of his neighbors as well as around the world portraying him (Gaddafi) as a tyrant/dictator/terrorist hated by his own people and the world over.

In their “War against Terrorism,” they finally succeeded to get behind Qaddafi’s skin particularly after 9/11 because he started working with them behind the scenes hence made him more enemies than friends within the Arab community because he allowed them (West) access to Libya and its facilities (marking the beginning of his downfall).

However, the financial and technical cooperation enjoyed by many West African countries under the government of Qaddafi must be acknowledged, – countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea-Conakry, Chad, Niger, Mali, Senegal, and Burkina Faso – because it shows the other side of Qaddafi that the world did not see.

The West also enjoyed financial support from him and his family and without a doubt it was a subject on the lips of many European and West African leaders, either they like it or not, and there were individuals who had benefited from different educational funds he supported around the world.

I was fortunate to know Libyans from Benghazi and Tripoli who acknowledged that the government of Qaddafi gave them the chance to be true Libyans because they had peace and were able to move freely as a citizen without fear – unlike now after his demise.

The awakening that gripped Tunisia and Egypt was to the West’s detriment but perfect timing to incite regime change in Libya, because they already had their agents on the ground in Libya, making it easy for them to hijack the awakening and turning it into regime change in Libya.

The people of Benghazi under the supervision of the West seemed to be ideal to start the revolution for regime change; after all they had an old score to settle with Qaddafi even though majority from that part of the nation could vouch for political, economic and social peace enjoyed under Qaddafi and even Qaddafi had a home in Benghazi.

Some Western countries feared that allowing Qaddafi to continue as Libyan leader meant they had a lot to lose and one of such fears was over their financial indebtedness to Qaddafi, his family and people of Libya because repaying this money could deal a bigger blow to their own economy.

Also, deposing him would leave a power vacuum considering the volatile tribal division in Libya and an opportunity for them to have a say in Libya’s oil distribution network, which would in turn help sustain their businesses and economy through the period of Western economic crunch.

Like the situation with Mali, France took the lead and of course there was more than just political undertone for former French president’s involvement in Libya, some of which came out in French press while others did not make it to the print (News blackout?).

It was obvious that Qaddafi had made many enemies in the Middle East, hence not much support came from that direction to help bring political solution, and of course Qaddafi had himself to blame because becoming Mr. Jekyll and Hyde for the West always end in regret.

In the heat of it all, even Libya’s strong ally, Russia, could not do much to resuscitate his government because by this time there had been promises and counter promises made to Qaddafi’s aides who were breaking ranks more than he anticipated and Western media were splashing news of defection daily, hence his government was doomed.

Qaddafi losing grip on power was a combination of many factors, amongst which was his close ties forged with West during Iraq war when he allowed Libya to be used strategically against al-Qaeda, and by conniving with the West he carved enemies for himself within the Arab community, hence West collaborating to oust him seemed imminent because he lacked popular support. It doesn’t matter if he did it to get out of the embargo done to Libya for over 10 years.

The Western media news blackout on turn of events during the Libya revolution and news propaganda about atrocities purported to have been committed by Qaddafi’s supporters did not favour him, hence common conversation in public places around the world was that he must go.

  Africa may not have a voice, but comparing news heard from mainstream Western media and online news, it was obvious that the continent is well aware of the Western double standard.

Africa and the Middle East have been creating awareness in the mind of their younger generations that there is double standard in news reporting by the Western media, and one of the ways to identify existence of such double standard is for this younger audience to compare online reporting with mainstream Western media before forming opinion.

The Western leaders censor Western media to only report news they want the world to hear and Western media knows how to put it across nations of the earth fancifully and convincingly with no regards for psychological damage to listeners, and those networks that did not join the bandwagon suffered a witch hunt.

Qaddafi was a victim of such Western news propaganda and spreading lies is a continuous process of reporting by Western media and most recent is the reporting by a Western media showing a picture of mass killings to have been carried out by Syrian soldiers, but it was later proved to be untrue because picture from previous reporting were used.

People from Africa and the Middle East are more aware now that accusation made by the West against activities of leaders or nations may be untrue, hence they now use news comparison for verification before forming opinion.

       The Western media have lost its popularity amongst many individuals from Africa and the Middle East, because it has become apparent that Western media through its satellite channels has been feeding them with propaganda and lies, hence they are switching from mainstream satellite stations onto the Internet for latest news and update.

It is ironic to see that Qaddafi, who was a dictator/tyrant hated by his people, could lend money to Western nations and yet they did not refuse to accept the money neither did they decline to use Libya as a base to torture individuals accused of terrorism.

Muammar Qaddafi is dead. Saif al-Islam Qaddafi is incarcerated, hence another news blackout on the real truth behind why the West sped up regime change in Libya using military force and under the disguise of the United Nation Security Council.

The West claimed that Libya is now a free nation with peace and stability after Qaddafi’s death, but there is no stable unity government that includes all tribes in Libya and moreover the United State suffers its first casualty in Libya in 2012.

Libya has been politically volatile since the awakening and while Western media only touch on it after the death of the US diplomat.

British, French and American Operatives Assigned to Hunt Gaddafi Down and Kill Him


British and French Operatives Assigned to Hunt Gaddafi Down and Kill Him

 

In Mafia don fashion, UK PM David Cameron, French President Sarkozy  and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have dispatched assassins to kill Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Remember what Hillary Clinton said when she arrived in Tripoli on the 18/10/2011

The British security service MI6 and France’s Directorate-General for External Security agents will hunt down the dictator in Operation Fire And Forget, The Daily Star reported earlier this week. News of the assassination plan was ignored by the corporate media in the United States.

The assassins speak Arabic and have lived in Libya for years, according to the report. “These agents if they get caught they will disappear and won’t survive an hour,” the paper quoted a senior security source.

Money is no object. It is estimated the operation may cost around a million pounds a week, the source said.

Government officials have sent conflicting messages on killing Gaddafi. In April,  French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said it is not France’s objective to kill Gaddafi or his family.

The same month, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said Gaddafi is a legitimate target if he does not give up as NATO and the United States demand.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on April 25 that U.S. Predator drones would be used to kill Gaddafi.

On April 24, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called for killing Gaddafi and bombing Tripoli.

Arizona Senator John McCain also called for killing Gaddafi and using more firepower against those who would resist militarily enforced regime change in their country.

In 2009, McCain praised Gaddafi for his peacemaking efforts in Africa and called for Congress to expand ties with him. Now he wants to kill him. *** So what is wrong with this picture? 2 years ago McCain was praising Qaddafi and in 2011 he said he was a legitimate target! Did McCain blackmailed Qaddafi??? Think about it… Qaddafi had paid Sarkozy for his presidential election, did McCain ask for the same treatment and Qaddafi refused? Or is McCain a Manchurian candidate who is brainwashed? But what we do know is that when Hillary arrived  to Tripoli on the 18th October with the Airforce One on the plane where very highly trained killers. As they landed these people where not seen they immediately blended with the Libyan (NTC) militias and they disappeared into the night the rest is history… here is the video where she admits but bites her tongue. This woman has only poisonous venom in her mouth and everything she touches dies. She is accountable for the cold blood murder of a leader as she is responsible for the murder of the Late Stevens and the death of other 3 well-trained soldiers who were trying to protect him. This is the woman who has nothing to show for achievements only  dead corpses who were against her policies. She is the one who will lead the Empire of the USA… God help us all….

 

 


Libya and “The Arab Spring”: Neoliberalism, “Regime Change” and NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars”

by Michel Chossudovsky, Finian Cunningham and Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – November 2011 – GlobalResearch

 

INTRODUCTION

First in Global Research’s Interactive Reader Series, we bring to the attention of our readers a collection of Global Research articles on the “Arab Spring”, covering recent developments in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa region. The Interactive Reader is a collection of previously published articles on Global Research. Its objective is to provide an overview as well as a comparative understanding of country-level experiences of the upheavals.

This selection of articles is intended to dispel the notion that the “Arab Spring” is just a pro-democracy movement spreading spontaneously from country to country, opening the way to a meaningful change in the political and economic landscape. The term “Arab Spring” is itself a Western-imposed term conjured up by people who appear to have little understanding of the complexities and realities of the region.

The double-standards of the U.S. and the European Union have become visible during the course of these tumultuous events. Both the US and the EU have kept silent about the brutal repression of unarmed civilian protesters in the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, while, by contrast, the Western powers have vehemently pushed for conflict with Libya and Syria.

America is no “role model” of democratization for the Arab World, comprising some 22 countries with a combined population of 300 million. US military presence imposed on Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and other Arab countries over decades, coupled with Washington-inspired “free market” reforms, are the root cause of state violence.

Washington’s agenda for Egypt and Tunisia was to hijack the protest movement; what prevails in Egypt is the maintenance of a de facto military regime. In Tunisia, following the October 2011 parliamentary elections, the neoliberal policy framework remains unscathed.

From Washington’s standpoint, regime replacement no longer requires the installation of authoritarian military rulers, as in the heyday of US imperialism. Regime change can be implemented by co-opting political parties, financing civil society groups, infiltrating the protest movement, and by manipulating national elections.

The ultimate objective is to sustain the interests of foreign powers and to uphold the “Washington consensus” of the IMF/World Bank economic agenda that has served to impoverish millions throughout the Arab World and beyond.

Moreover, Western powers have used “Political Islam” –including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda-affiliated groups– to pursue their hegemonic objectives. Covert operations are launched to weaken the secular state, foment sectarian violence and create social divisions throughout the Arab World.

In Libya, the “pro-democracy” rebels were led by Al Qaeda affiliated paramilitary brigades under the supervision of NATO Special Forces. The much-vaunted “Liberation” of Tripoli was carried out by former members of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)****(The leader of LIFG is Abdulhakim Belhaj MI6 asset and very close friend of the Late Ambassador Stevens, Hillary Clinton, Senator McCain and last but not least the UN representative in Libya “King Bernandino Leon” who gives orders and demands that the HoR international recognized government sits down and talk negotiations with the terrorist GNC holding captive the capital of Tripoli; which are: MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, LIBYAN DAWN/FAJR, SUNRISE, ISIS/DAESH, AL SHARAIA, AND ALL OTHER TERRORIST GROUPS. I ask you had your country been in situation like Libya would they sit down and negotiate with TERRORISTS?)

Destabilization of sovereign states through “regime change” is closely coordinated with military planning.

War preparations to attack Syria and Iran have been in an advanced state of readiness for several years. The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US/NATO-sponsored war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (“regime change”) including covert intelligence operations in support of rebel forces directed against the Syrian government.

A “humanitarian war” under the logo of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), as seen in Libya, is on the Western powers’ agenda for Syria. Such a venture would also contribute to the ongoing destabilization of Lebanon.

Were a military campaign to be waged against Syria, Israel would be directly or indirectly involved in military and intelligence operations. The hitherto covert role of Saudi Arabia and Turkey in destabilizing Syria would also emerge as open aggression towards long-time regional rival Iran.

A war on Syria could quite possibly ignite a conflagration across the entire Middle East and North Africa, with repercussions on a global scale: Iran’s historic allies, Russia and China, will be pitted against the US and NATO powers; and religious schisms across the region could vent into an explosion of internecine conflicts; also proxy wars currently being waged in East Africa by Western powers could escalate with untold human suffering in an already famine-hit region.

War plans directed against Syria are coordinated with those pertaining to Iran.

Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programme is the pretext and the justification. Tehran is also identified as a “State sponsor of terrorism”, for allegedly supporting the Al Qaeda network.

In recent developments, what is unfolding is an integrated attack plan on Iran led by the US, with the participation of the United Kingdom and Israel.

The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the World simultaneously.

Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the US military’s Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. According to (former) NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theaters : “[The] five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.”

What this collection of essays demonstrates is that Western intervention in this pivotal world region is far from the benign rhetoric frequently spouted in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin, espousing universal human rights and democratic freedoms. Rather, we are witnessing a neo-imperialist intervention that is self-serving, expedient and ultimately setting the world on a path of incalculable destruction.

PART I  TUNISIA: DICTATORSHIP AND NEOLIBERALISM

Dictatorship and Neo-Liberalism: The Tunisian People’s Uprising

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-01-19
Tunisia is not free yet. The structure that kept Bin Ali in place still exists. The U.S. and France have still not forfeited their economic interests in Tunisia either.

 

Tunisia and the IMF’s Diktats: How Macro-Economic Policy Triggers Worldwide Poverty and Unemployment

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-01-20
Against a background of rising food prices, the IMF recommends the removal of subsidies…


PART II  THE POPULAR UPRISING IN EGYPT: “REVOLUTION” AND “COUNTER-REVOLUTION”

The Protest Movement in Egypt: “Dictators” do not Dictate, They Obey Orders

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-01-29
“Dictators” do not dictate, they obey orders. President Hosni Mubarak was a faithful servant of Western economic interests.
The Popular Uprising in Egypt: The Military Machine Remains Intact, The Political Status Quo Prevails

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-02-21
The same group of Egyptian generals running Cairo presently also formed the backbone of the Mubarak regime. There has been no real change in government. The military junta represents a continuation of the Mubarak regime.
Dictators are “Disposable”: The Rise and Fall of America’s Military Henchmen

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-02-18
When dictators are no longer needed, they are replaced. The military machine prevails, combined with a ruthless form of capitalist development…

 

PART III  BAHRAIN: THE FORGOTTEN “ARAB SPRING”

Bahrain: The Social Roots of Revolt Against Another US Ally

– by Finian Cunningham – 2011-02-18
The Bahraini authorities deployed helicopters and tanks, with army and police firing teargas and live rounds. Among the protesters were hundreds of women and children.
Slaughter in Bahrain

– by Finian Cunningham
There is little doubt that the regime received clearance from political allies in Washington, London and the other Gulf states to step up its four-week old repression against the civilian population.
Detained Bahraini Medics: Brutal Crackdown against Pro-Democracy Movement

– by Finian Cunningham – 2011-04-21
The families of medics unlawfully detained in Bahrain have accused the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) of putting financial investment interests above human rights.
Bahraini Rulers Play Sectarian Card in Bid to Trump Pro-democracy Movement

– by Finian Cunningham
Increasing attacks on Shia mosques in the Bahraini state’s withering crackdown against the pro-democracy movement is a deliberate attempt to isolate the political opposition and amounts to a campaign of “sectarian cleansing”,

PART IV  LIBYA: NATO’S “HUMANITARIAN WAR”

Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-09-29
The war against Libya is built on fraud. The UN Security Council passed two resolutions against Libya on the basis of unproven claims that Qaddafi was killing his own people in Benghazi…
When War Games Go Live: “Staging” a “Humanitarian War” against “SOUTHLAND”

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-04-16
We were led to believe that the protest movement in Egypt and Tunisia had spread to Libya, but the war on Libya was planned months prior to the Arab protest movement…
“Our Man in Tripoli”: US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya’s Pro-Democracy Opposition

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-04-03
Concepts are turned upside down: The US-NATO military alliance is supporting a rebellion integrated by Islamic terrorists, in the name of the “War on Terrorism”…
“Operation Libya” and the Battle for Oil: Redrawing the Map of Africa

– by Prof Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-03-09
Libya is among the world’s largest oil economies with approximately 3.5% of global oil reserves, more than twice those of the US.
The “Liberation” of Libya: NATO Special Forces and Al Qaeda Join Hands

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-08-28
The jihadists and NATO work hand in glove. These “former” Al Qaeda affiliated brigades constitute the backbone of the “pro-democracy” rebellion.
Destroying a Country’s Standard of Living: What Libya Had Achieved, What has been Destroyed

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-20
A historical reversal in Libya economic and social development has occurred. An entire country has been destroyed, its people driven into abysmal poverty.

PART V  YEMEN: REPUBLICAN DICTATORSHIP AT THE CROSSROADS

Yemen and The Militarization of Strategic Waterways

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-02-07
The militarization of the Indian Ocean is a process of securing US control over Socotra Island and the Gulf of Aden.

PART VI  SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR

SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-05-03
The ultimate purpose is to spark sectarian violence and political chaos within Syria by covertly supporting Islamic terrorist organizations.
The Pentagon’s “Salvador Option”: The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-08-16
Recent developments in Syria point to a full-fledged armed insurgency, integrated by Islamist “freedom fighters” covertly supported, trained and equipped by foreign powers.
The Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria: Recruiting Jihadists to Wage NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars”

– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-02
The objective of this armed insurrection is to trigger the response of the police and armed forces, with a view to justifying a “humanitarian” military intervention by NATO

PART VII  MILITARY ESCALATION AND THE BROADER WAR

A “Humanitarian War” on Syria? Military Escalation. Towards a Broader Middle East-Central Asian War?

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-08-09
The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US-NATO war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (“regime change”) directed against Syria.
America’s Conquest of Africa: The Roles of France and Israel

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Julien Teil. Introduction by Cynthia McKinney – 2011-10-06
Terrorists not only fight for Washington on the ground, they also act as frontmen for regime change through so-called human rights organizations that promote democracy.
The Powers of Manipulation: Islam as a Geopolitical Tool to Control the Middle East

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – 2011-07-02
As Washington and its cohorts march towards the Eurasian Heartland, they have tried to manipulate Islam as a geo-political tool. They have created political and social chaos in the process.
America’s War in the Horn of Africa: “Drone Alley”, A Harbinger of Western Power across the African Continent

– by Finian Cunningham – 2011-10-29
The US Military confirms Washington’s secret new war in Somalia despite official denials.
Israel and Libya: Preparing Africa for the “Clash of Civilizations

– by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya. Introduction by Cynthia McKinney – 2011-10-11
An attempt to separate the merging point of an Arab and African identity is underway…
Global Warfare: Targeting Iran: Preparing for World War III

– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-11-03
The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the World simultaneously. What is unfolding is an integrated attack plan on Iran led by the US, with the participation of the UK and Israel

About the Authors

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca  website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor at universities in Western Europe, South East Asia and Latin America, acted as an adviser to governments of developing countries and as a consultant for the several international organizations. Prof. Chossudovsky is a signatory of the Kuala Lumpur declaration to criminalize war and recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, Germany. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

Finian Cunningham is currently Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa Correspondent. He has written extensively on international affairs. Previously, he was based in Bahrain and witnessed the upheavals in the Persian Gulf kingdom during 2011 as well as the subsequent Saudi-led brutal crackdown against pro-democracy protests. He is now based in East Africa.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a Sociologist and an award-winning author based in Ottawa. He is a Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal. He was a witness to the “Arab Spring” in action in North Africa. While on the ground in Libya during the NATO bombing campaign, he reported out of Tripoli for several Western media. He was Special Correspondent for Global Research and Pacifica’s investigative radio program Flashpoints, broadcast out of Berkeley, California. His writings have been published in more than ten languages.

————————–

 

OPINION: Libya has one government and one parliament


OPINION: Libya has one government and one parliament

By Azza K. Maghur

Everyone out there please read carefully & complete.

Libya has one government and one parliament.

Nevertheless, members of the international media and foreign policy makers around the world are distorting this simple fact by speaking of Libya’s government as divided. Repetition has created a misleading media narrative and imposed a perceptual reality that in effect divides Libya. It is pressuring the country’s beleaguered democratization process to a point where it may be aborted, or worse, push Libya towards partition.
A Constitutional Declaration was written in August 2011 to guide Libya forward through the transitional period following its Revolution. Nevertheless, this essential document and the plan it lays out to lead a unified Libya to a democratic civil state is overlooked.
It is disturbing to see legitimate institutions, formed within the framework of the Constitutional Declaration, equated with so-called governments and institutions that are the product of violence. How are acts of warstorming the doors of governmental institutions, forcibly occupying ministries, shelling cities with missiles and destroying the country’s largest airport along with hundreds of millions of dollars of planes – be considered comparable to democratic process?
Peaceful transfer of power is a cornerstone in the democratization processes of newborn democratic states. Libya went through three elections, two of which involved a transfer of power. In accordance with the Constitutional Declaration, Libyan voters elected the country’s House of Representatives (HoR) on 25 June 2014; the House of Representatives then appointed an interim government headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni.
How, after the hard-won steps Libya has taken towards democracy, can members of the diplomatic community and media refer to the democratically elected HoR as the “Tobruk parliament” and its legitimate government as the “Al-Thinni government,” thus ignoring the June 2014 election results and distorting the historical record?
Meanwhile, international media and diplomats refer to the remnant group of politicians in Tripoli as the “GNC,” the parliament that preceded the HoR. The General National Congress (GNC) mandate expired on 21 July 2014 when the results of the HOR election were announced. However, one week before, a coalition of Islamist and regional militias launched an armed operation, called Operation Dawn, to take over the capitol Tripoli. After weeks of urban warfare, it succeeded on 23 August. Operation Dawn’s first political move was to call on the GNC to resume sessions and to appoint a government. A small group of former GNC members began to meet and appointed Omar Al-Hassi as Prime Minister of, what he termed, a National Salvation Government.
Needless to say, the imposition of the rump GNC had no footing in the Constitutional Declaration and was in violation of democratic principles. The mandate of the GNC had expired and there is no constitutional provision for its return. In reality, the rump GNC, composed of thirty or fewer of the original 200-member parliament, became the political arm of the Operation Dawn militias.
How is it possible for a country unified under a Constitutional Declaration to have a “Tobruk parliament” and at the same time a rump “GNC”? The intent of this article is to dust off the truth and build a better understanding of Libya’s governing institutions and the plan laid out in the Constitutional Declaration.

Phase 1: The Constitutional Declaration, August 2011
The Constitutional Declaration was issued by the self-proclaimed political entity of the February 2011 Revolution, the National Transitional Council (NTC). It was simple and recognized the self-proclaimed NTC as the highest authority of the state, granting it a mix of legislative and executive powers. It allowed for the NTC to appoint (and dissolve) a cabinet to govern. A timetable stipulated that the NTC hand over power to an elected body, the GNC, within 240 days from the declaration of the liberation of Libya. Elections for the GNC were held on 7 July 2012 and on the 8 August, in a ceremonial event, the NTC publicly announced the transfer of power to the first parliament elected by Libyans in nearly 50 years.
The ceremony took place under the scrutiny of a people who had survived generations under dictatorship. On that remarkable day, at a time when militias were positioned in every corner, in every city, the NTC managed to transfer power to a purely civil entity chosen by the Libyan people. Nevertheless, the transfer ceremony was not without incident. Salah Badi, an elected GNC member who  demanded that a young Libyan woman leave the stage because her head was uncovered. Sarah Messelati, who was only 22, left the room quietly. However, shamefully no one in the gathering, including women representing 16% of elected GNC members, spoke up in her support. That day, everyone’s hearts and eyes were clinging to the power transfer ceremony and eager for it to take place as quickly and quietly as possible.
In addition to establishing the GNC, the Constitutional Declaration also created the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) tasked with writing the future Libyan constitution. It allowed 60 days for the CDA to draft the Constitution and then forward it to the Libyan people for referendum. This period was later extended to 180 days.

Phase 2: The General National Congress, July 2012-July 2014
In July 2012, the GNC replaced the NTC as the highest authority of Libya. The main goal and task of the GNC during its mandate was to establish the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA). Following ratification of the Constitution, a second transfer of power would occur, with the GNC handing over to the newly-elected institutions prescribed in the Constitution. In summary, this second phase was about drafting a constitution and a subsequent peaceful power transfer, by which the transitional period would end and a new democratic civil state would be launched.
However, the GNC neglected its mandate, interfered with the executive branch and focused on promulgating a political isolation law by which Libyans became unequal before the law. This law was adopted in May 2013 under armed pressure from militias connected with sympathetic members of the GNC.
Finally, after eight months, the GNC realized it had been sharply diverted from its principle mission and appointed a committee to draft the CDA election law. The CDA election took place in February 2014, over a year and a half after the GNC assumed office. The CDA’s first session was held in the town of Baida in April 2014.

Phase 2.5: The February Committee, February-April 2014
As the GNC tenure wore on, it became increasingly apparent that the body was unable to run the country efficiently and its interference with the executive was making governance an impossible mission. When the GNC finally initiated the process of drafting the CDA election law in April 2013, disgruntled Libyans were already in the streets demanding that the GNC step down and transfer power to a new representative body.
Every time the GNC stretched the period of fulfilling its major duty, the establishment of the CDA, it also stretched its own mandate and continued to be the highest authority in the country. It became clear that the simplicity of the Constitutional Declaration did not account for a separation or balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches of government. The conclusion reached by the citizenry and many members of the GNC was that the limitations of the Constitutional Declaration made the GNC inadequate as a vehicle to take Libya out of the transitional period to a modern constitution.
Under tremendous pressure from within the GNC and the general public, a Sixth Amendment to the Constitutional Declaration was adopted by the GNC, by which a new phase was drawn to revive the democratization process. The GNC created a constitutional committee called the February Committee to take the necessary steps to amend the Constitutional Declaration to allow new parliamentary and presidential elections. Accordingly, the GNC decided to end to its existence, even before a constitution was issued and transfer power to a new parliament. This new parliament would be based on democratic principles, including separation of powers between branches, a series of checks and balances and a distinctly separate executive branch headed by an elected president with a clear mandate to state powers. By taking this step, the legislative power would no longer be the highest authority of the state of Libya.
A new road map introduced by the February Committee added an additional phase to allow for a new parliamentary body, the House of Representatives (HoR) and a directly elected President. Most significantly, the February Committee introduced a conventional module of governance based on equilibrium and separation of powers.
On 31 March 2014, the GNC adopted the February Committee’s first set of recommendations. However, the matter of the election of a President of the State was postponed to be reviewed by the HoR. The newly elected HoR would resolve whether the President would be elected directly by the people (as recommended by the February Committee) or by the HoR. By doing so, the GNC again created hurdles to the democratization process. The elements of the February Committee proposal were interconnected and could only be adopted as a whole. Any substantive changes or postponement of the proposal’s clauses rendered the concept of democratization refreshment useless.

Therefore, a third and additional phase, which was not originally anticipated in the Constitutional Declaration, was adopted by the GNC in March. On 29 April , the GNC passed Election Law Number 10 of 2014 to provide for the election of the HoR. This third phase afforded a dignified exit to the GNC and a peaceful hand over to a new parliament. The GNC was under an obligation to fulfill the peaceful transfer of power to the HoR as its predecessor had to it. Any failure to do so entailed individual legal responsibility of GNC members before the law.

Phase 3: The House of Representatives, June 2014-present
The GNC adopted a series of required legislative steps to insure a peaceful transfer of power to the HoR. These included a decree issued by the GNC President ordering preparations for the ceremonial transfer of power to the HoR and calling on the HoR to convene.

Beginning in May 2014 armed conflict ignited in parts of Libya and till now, this continues to complicate Libya’s transition to democracy. At the time of the 25 June election, fighting was underway in the city of Benghazi. An thinkable tragedy unfolded the night of the election when Salwa Boughaigis, a prominent civil society activist, lawyer, and deputy president of the National Preparatory Dialogue Commission, was brutally murdered in her home in Benghazi, not long after she posted on social media photos of herself voting. Her husband, Essam Gheriani, was kidnapped and to date has not been found. A national hero for her role in the revolution, Boughaigis became one of hundreds of Libyan civil society activists, military and security professionals, politicians and media figures assassinated in the years following the revolution.
On 21 July 2014, the High National Elections Commission announced the results of the H0R election: 188 members out of 200 were elected. The remaining twelve would have been from communities that were prevented from voting by extremist militias. In addition Amazigh communities chose to boycott the election as part of their campaign against what they claimed was constitutional marginalization.

In line with the February Committee recommendations, the seat of the HoR would be located in Benghazi. Preparations were already in progress to refurbish the Tibesti Hotel as its headquarters in order to allow the HoR to begin meeting there by the end of July. However, the combination of armed conflict, the closure of the airport in Benghazi and other violent incidents made it infeasible for the HoR to convene in Benghazi. The freshly-elected body was forced to quickly find a new place to meet. Given that armed conflict had spread to Tripoli, HoR members followed the suggestion of the body’s senior members and convened in the quiet eastern city of Tobruk on 4 August.
By the time the HoR convened, Libya’s democratization process was in deep crisis, but still surviving. Urban warfare in Tripoli compelled many residents to flee the city, including government ministers who began meeting in the relatively calm and secured city of Beida where the Constitutional Drafting Assembly had been working. This phase of the transitional period can certainly not be described as peaceful. How could it be in a country in the grip of militias?
The inaugural meeting of the HoR was attended by 158 of the 188 elected members; thirty members boycotted in protest of the change of location and some remnant GNC members tried to halt the process under pretext of ceremonial procedure.

Despite the series of decrees the GNC had issued to initiate the necessary steps to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, members of the body, led by its President, Nouri Busahmain, refused to attend the meeting in Tobruk. However, the inaugural session was attended by the GNC’s First Deputy, Ezzedine al-Awami. Al-Awami represented a large bloc of GNC members who supported the democratization and legitimacy requirements defined by the Constitutional Declaration. This document, as amended by the February Committee, emphasizes that the HoR must convene within two weeks of the date of the HNEC announcement of the final election results. This precise date, 21 July 2014, constituted the transfer of power between the GNC and its successor. The Constitutional Declaration stipulates that power and legitimacy originate from the people as “the source of powers.” Therefore, all other related acts and decisions from the previous legislative power are considered ceremonial only and add nothing to the result of the elections.

Immediately after the GNC was announced to be back on stage by the Operation Dawn militias, the media began to use different terms when writing about Libya. The international press went from celebrating the HoR elections, covering the HNEC’s announcement of the winners and speculating on the leadership and political composition of the new parliament, to writing as if Libya had two parliaments and two governments, in effect rendering Libya’s short but rich democratization process insignificant.

The democratization process and its values, including the transfer of power, do not depend on protocol and ceremonies. Ceremonial procedures are never considered an impediment during the democratization process; the crucial and substantive principle of the transfer of power overrides ceremonial procedures. Peaceful transfer of power constitutes a vital obligation for democracy, while the ceremonial process of “hand over,” if any, is merely a public declaration of it. Ceremonial steps cannot be used to impede or block the democratization process. The rump GNC, however, reached a point where it denied any transfer of power, for the simple reason that the GNC President’s insistence to hold the handover ceremony in Tripoli was not accepted by the HoR. To accept the rump GNC’s position would be to say that one person, i.e. “the Speaker of the Parliament,” can twist the whole concept of democracy, and block it.

In addition to the pressures exerted on Libya’s democratization process, foreign policy makers and the international media are undermining the process by imposing an unlawful, illegitimate and artificial reality. Each of the many references to members of the former GNC as the “GNC,” as if the dissolved body continued to exist, constitutes a false and erroneous statement. There is no longer the GNC body; rather, there are some former members of the former GNC who are contravening the spirit of the Constitutional Declaration and the essence of democracy. The GNC wittingly ended its term in office, amending the Constitutional Declaration and issuing legislation and decrees. It can never reverse this process because it is a legal obligation and the GNC is obliged to fulfill this obligation.

The remnant GNC members are claiming that they are still in power based on their interpretation of the Libyan Supreme Court November 6, 2014 ruling. They argue that it dissolves the HoR. Regardless of whether or not this is a correct interpretation, dissolving the HoR does not allow the GNC to return as the governing authority in Libya. If the HoR were dissolved, it would only open venues for new elections, a new road map and a new phase in Libya’s difficult road towards democracy based on the Constitutional Declaration, a political agreement or on a new constitution.

Today there is neither a GNC, nor a so-called National Salvation Government. Legitimacy is not a carte blanche conferred by the media or policy makers. Power can be divided and shared, but legitimacy cannot. If democracy is not only about elections, it is certainly about the transfer of power. If elections alone do not consign legitimacy, then refusal to transfer power is the suffocation and poisoning of democracy itself. The conclusion is that Libya has one government and one parliament.

To think or write about the Libyan State in any other way, gives a false image of Libya and threatens the country’s troubled democratization process, recklessly pushing it towards possible partition.

Azza Kamel Maghur is a Libyan lawyer, human rights activist and former member of the 2014 February Committee tasked by the General National Congress to amend the transitional Constitution and prepare the elections law.

A Noble Lie — Oklahoma Bombing 1995


A Noble Lie — Oklahoma Bombing 1995

 

This video was a request by a friend that I post it to my blog. Below there is some information about the incident.

The 1995 (April 19th) bombing in Oklahoma City was a direct blow to the heart of America. 168 people were killed, including nineteen children. For those watching the nightly news, terrorism had come home. For years following the bombing, countless victims’ family members, survivors, rescuers, and ordinary Americans, have questioned the official accounts about that fateful day.

Hoping to shed light on answers long ignored and censored, both by prominent media outlets and the U.S. government,

A Noble Lie peels back what we thought we knew about the bombing and it’s perpetrators. This film exposes information never before examined or brought to the attention of the American public.

A Noble Lie is the culmination of years of research and documentation conducted by independent journalists, scholars, and ordinary citizens.

Often risking their personal safely and sanity, they have gathered evidence which threatens to expose the startling reality of what exactly occurred at 9:02 am on April 19, 1995 in Oklahoma City.